March 12th, 2004

Allegiances

I was waiting for Skylar to get her first professional haircut while the Bears' season ended, fleshing out a bottom end reverberating sourly along with the baseball steroid scandal.

But I couldn't forsake the conference tournaments entirely.

Stanford had already won. St. Joe's and Syracuse had already lost. So I watched the Villanova-Providence game with half-interest, tuned in to root for Washington in the last three minutes of their game with UCLA, and then contemplated watching the Arizona game.

I was pretty sure Arizona would win, even though USC gives them trouble on a consistent basis. That Henry Bibby vs. Mike Bibby tension still persists.

When I realized the score was getting closer, though, I decided to watch the game after all. The Wildcats didn't play that well. When USC's leading scorer Desmon Farmer shoots 10% and the game is still up for grabs, something is amiss. As usual, it was Salim Stoudamire.

Having seen the ASU teams from the early 1990s that were shaving points, I have to wonder about the radical inconsistency in Stoudamire's game. Maybe he needs to mellow out in the manner of his cousin?

Seriously, the problem is a lot less dramatic. Stoudamire sulks the way I used to when playing miniature golf at age thirteen. And he only seems capable of dribbling with one hand.

As it turned out, of course, Hassan Adams, Channing Frye, and Mustafa Shakur took up enough slack for the Cats to win.

A funny thing happened along the way too: I realized I would be sad to see Arizona lose.

I always pull for the Pac-10 in non-conference games and the tournaments. But rooting for Arizona in conference play has not come easy. When USC beat them earlier this year, I was sort of glad to see them get a reality check.

In a season underscored by a loss to Oregon State and two losses to the Huskies, however, the Wildcats' arrogance -- and the arrogance of their whiny, red-clad, Republican fans -- recedes in importance.

Yes, I wanted them to beat USC. Yes, I leapt out of my chair when Shakur's game-winning shot dropped through the net.

I may feel a little sordid, but my preference is clear.

Not that preferring anyone over USC is much of an accomplishment.
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Not Closed

The terrorist attacks in Spain remind of the immediate aftermath of both September 11th and the Oklahoma City bombing.

We all need someone to talk to. We've all got a space to fill.

Having just taught Don DeLillo's superb Libra in my graduate course, I'm thinking that we need to devise more precise language for the overdetermined tragedy.

What if it wasn't ETA or Al Qaeda, but ETA and Al Qaeda? What if we had to decide on the perpetrator's undecidabilty?

That's the rootstock of the JFK conspiracies, of course. There's a logical progression from deconstructing the "lone gunman" theory to deconstructing the "lone terrorist organization" theory.

Market analysts are adept at overlaying the relevant indices in order to see a whole with the consistency and flux of clouds running across the sky.

Terror analysts should be so deft.

Then again, I suppose that's precisely what the "futures" scheme of Mr. Poindexter was trying to inspire.

Have I become one of them?

Or have these think-tankers simply been reading their DeLillo?

Next stop, The Names.

Por Ejemplo

Asked to come up with some possible blurbs for the back of the new Bad Subjects book -- not that our publisher will necessarily use them, mind you -- I realized with sadness how many interesting publications and websites have vanished over the past decade. Not coincidentally, they tended to be the sort open to alternative ventures like Bad Subjects.

But the largely futile search was not without its windfalls. Check out the recommended style for a "WORLD WIDE WEB SITE," towards the bottom of this page.

And how about a syllabus, while we're at it.

Men's News

In a day, week filled with thinking about the persistence of male domination and what it does to women, both good and bad, I'm reenergized by the realization that there are men out their "subverting the mainstream press."

Even eighty-five-year old men who mourn the stoppage of Autobahn construction need their "alternative" defenders.

I'm feeling more passionate already.
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